Pick up your copies of Sigh, Gone and Beneficence! Join the statewide summer reading program for adults!
Both books are written by Maine authors, and chosen by Maine author Christina Baker Kline!
- Listen to the Kick-off episode on NPR’s Maine Calling, Friday June 3 at 11 am, 7pm, or online.
- Online Author Talk with Phuc Tran
Tuesday, July 12 @ 7:00 pm
Pre-Register at Maine Humanities Council’s website.
- Online Author Talk with Meredith Hall
Thursday, Aug. 25 @ 7:00 pm
Pre-Register at the Maine Humanities Council’s website.
About Sigh, Gone by Phuc Tran
“In Sigh, Gone, his darkly funny and ultimately transcendent coming-of-age story, Phuc Tran turns a steady eye on himself, his family, and society at large. About his immigrant parents, torn from Saigon (the origin of the multi-layered title) in the early 1970s, Tran writes: ‘Theirs was a life disrupted, a storyline unfinished, a song half sung.’ With extraordinary sensitivity, he examines the pain of assimilation, the corrosive effects of shame, the legacy of violence, and the power of power of art to transcend, critique, illuminate, and inspire. This memoir has a wealth of specific detail as well as universal themes that many will relate to about fitting in, finding a place in the world, and figuring out who you are. Above all, it is a love letter to reading. When Tran says, ‘The snarl of my journey was untangled and laid out clearly by books,’ I know exactly what he means. I think of my own childhood and adolescence in Bangor, where the public library provided, as it did for Tran, both a safe haven and a mecca of discovery. “
About Beneficence by Meredith Hall
“From the first two lines of Beneficence, I was transfixed: ‘Every morning, early, when Tup and I get up to start our chores, the whole house still quiet and the children asleep, I turn and pull the bed together, tugging at the sheets to make them tight and smooth. They are warm with our heat.’ In deceptively simple prose, Hall tells the story of a farming family, the Senters, whose quiet lives are upended by tragedy and who must find a way forward, together or apart. As I wrote in a quote for the hardcover, this novel is a marvel. In its granular attention to detail and soaring larger themes, not to mention its setting and subject matter, it reminds me of two of my favorite contemporary novels, Jane Hamilton’s A Map of the World and Jane Smiley’s A Thousand Acres. (Reviewers have compared Hall to Willa Cather and Marilynne Robinson, and I wouldn’t disagree.) Beneficence will stay with me; I will cherish it.”
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